One by one, Nash Central’s batters stepped confidently into the batters’ box during the course of Tuesday afternoon’s game against Wilson Fike.
There was no reason to be uneasy.
Wilson Fike starter Amber Baker didn’t throw particularly hard, and the movement of her pitches was not overly deceptive. But by the end of a quick seven innings, a theme was set: No matter how hard or where the Bulldogs hit the ball, it surely was going to find a Golden Demons’ glove.
Nash Central went without a baserunner during the game’s final 5 2⁄3 innings in losing a 1-0 decision to Wilson Fike.
Baker retired the final 14 batters she faced on a frustrating day for the Bulldogs.
“We hit it to somebody every time,” Bulldogs’ No. 5 hitter Kelsee Whitley said. “It was right at somebody.”
Whitley was on the short end of the decision. The right-hander pitched seven excellent innings of her own, scattering just six hits along the way.
Wilson Fike’s only run came in the top of the fourth inning when Baker singled and scored on Madison Ward’s RBI triple to left field.
The damage could have been even worse, but despite facing a bases loaded situation with one out, Whitley induced a force play at home before striking out Fike’s No. 9 hitter to end the inning.
“She has done a good job pitching the past couple of games,” Nash Central coach Gary Smith said of Whitley, who struck out five batters. “We just haven’t helped her out with timely hits.”
The Bulldogs (7-7, 4-3 Big East Conference) managed just three hits (Sarah Keel, Brittani Strickland, Taylor Mills), all of which came during the first two innings when Nash Central stranded three runners in scoring position.
From then on, each batted ball took on a vacuum-like effect.
Keel scorched three hard-hit balls in her at-bats.
One fell in for a single, another was kicked and stopped by Ward at first base, and the last was hit deep to right field but fell harmlessly into the glove of Fike’s right fielder.
Wilson Fike (6-6, 4-3) now joins a logjam of Big East teams with three conference losses along with Northern Nash, Southern Nash and Nash Central.
“It was a good game by two good teams,” Smith said of the game which neither team committed an error. “Good pitching, good defense.
“It seems as if everything we hit was right at somebody.”
Wilson Fike 1
Nash Central 0
WF 000 100 0 – 1 6 0
NC 000 000 0 – 0 3 0
WP: Amber Baker (7IP, 0R, 0ER, 3H, 1BB, 3K); LP: Kelsee Whitley (7IP, 1R, 1ER, 6H, 1BB, 5K).
2B: Taylor Mills (NC); Kendall Reaves (WF). 3B: Madison Ward (WF).
Jessie H. Nunery can be reached at 407-9959 or firstname.lastname@example.org